St Olave Hart Street and St Katharine Cree: Churches with London at Heart

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Sanctuary in the City

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ABOUT St Katharine Cree


The church of St Katharine Cree dates back to the 13th century. The current building was constructed in 1633 and the imposing Jacobean architecture is unique in London. Handel and Purcell are part of the church’s history as both played on the organ, which still retains some of its outstanding 17th-century pipework.


But it is the way that the church has served the City that marks it out. For example, after the Great Fire St Katharine Cree remained standing and was used by the liveries serving food to workers as the company halls were rebuilt. Today the building retains its role as a sanctuary to those who live and work nearby.


Mission and Ministry

The present ministry of the church dates back to the 1950s when St Katharine Cree was one of seven churches to avoid closure by being made a Guild Church by Act of Parliament. The remit was to ensure that ‘spiritual provision was made for the very large daytime population of the City’.


A decade later — as home to the Industrial Christian Fellowship — St Katharine Cree became known as a church that aspired to resource the workplace. The aim now is to build on this legacy.



The altar at St Katharine's

photo David Iliff


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